El Orfanato (aka The Orphanage)
I just watched The Orphanage and well, YOU SHOULD WATCH IT! Granted people are not really into the horror / foreign / ghostly / mystery / drama films. I know a number of folks that would probably sit down to watch the film and be turned off by subtitles. Well, come to think of it, I don't really know a lot of those people. The reason why I don't know a lot of those people is because I think they lack the attention span and they probably don't read anyway. IF I WAS GOING TO WATCH A MOVIE WITH SUBTITLES I WOULD JUST READ A BOOK! Dumbshits.
Now when it comes to horror, yes I love it. I love every genre of film really. I really think that most of the people that cringe at horror films probably haven't seen any of the good ones. The ones that aren't really all that horrific but more tragic. This movie is a little of both. I mean at times I cringed but that is just because when I see someone tear their fingernail off after getting it smashed in a door, well I simply cringe. Much like the bottle that is drilled in that dude's face in Pan's Labyrinth. Christ, that was horrific.
Now, this is not Gore Porn. The Orphanage is simply a very well done ghost story and like most well done ghost stories they involve a lot of mystery. It is very delicate in its pace and you really begin to feel for the main character, Laura. Laura is an orphan. She decides to buy the orphanage that she was raised in her youth and dedicate her life to helping children of her same ilk. And, she brings her family along. Her husband and (SPOILER!) her adopted son that is sick with HIV. Her son goes missing and here starts the spooky shit.
So there you have the basic plot. But you don't have the beauty yet. The beauty lies in the excellent foreshadowed screenplay. This is a film that has hints but not that of The Sixth Sense or The Others and things of that caliber. Everything is slight. When the story unfolds, you feel it. I felt these characters, especially Laura. Belén Rueda's performance is just really really good. In fact, everyone was pretty spot on. Add to that a creepy (in a beautiful way) old orphanage on the edge of the sea with a camera that glides through it. Pretty badass.
Anyway, here's a trailer ...
I give El Orfanato 4 Netflix stars for being fantastically thrilling but with tons of heart. At the end, I cried like a little girl. Thanks to Juan Antonio Bayona for a great directorial debut and Sergio G. Sánchez for a great script.